New Year, New Ear: girl receives gift of sound for 2018

Nichole Helmick is overwhelmed by emotions as she hears more clearly than ever before with her new hearing aids.

With 2018 in full swing, you've probably heard the expression, 'New Year, New You' by now.

For Nichole Helmick, the saying may need a slight tweak.

More than 70 percent deaf in each ear, Helmick has never known life without struggling to hear.

"You can't really do anything about it," said Helmick. "It is what it is, and I've learned to deal with that."

That was until now, as Helmick is fitted for state-of-the-art hearing aids at Miracle Ear in Cedar Rapids.

Hearing specialist Laura Popelka performs a series of tests to ensure the devices allow Helmick to hear clearer than she ever has.

"She's had hearing aids before, but she's gotten an upgrade," said Popelka.

That upgrade isn't cheap, the pair of hearing aids costing roughly $6,000.

"We knew we couldn't afford hearing aids, and we just didn't know what to do," said Helmick's mother Stephanie.

The family found help from Miracle Ear, through its foundation.

"The Miracle Ear Foundation started in 1990," explained Popelka. "We've been able to help 9,100 individuals with over 16,000 hearing aids. We're here to help people and give them the gift of sound and so it's pretty remarkable."

Helmick is one of many assisted, and now, she's hoping to give back in the same way.

"I've always wanted to do something similar to this, and one day, I will," said Helmick. "There's no what if's. I will do it."

The Miracle Ear Foundation helps people with hearing impairments based on financial need.

Click here to learn more about the application process.

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